SAW Expo... 1st Place, Open_Complex... Bowly Mobius

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Project by SawTooth1953 posted 07-21-2012 02:08 PM 3566 views 3 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I call this “Bowly Mobius” because it is a sculpture constructed of bowl parts and it forms a “mobius” strip (a construct where you must go around 2 times in order to return to your starting point).

This is an advanced construct after my “Wavy Ribbon” project presented at the NEOS Picnic in May. Like the Wavy Ribbon, the Bowly Mobius is based on Malcom Tibbetts’ work done with miter saw, lathe and band saw… mine was cut using only a scroll saw, glued together and refined with various sanding tools.

The closeup of the project shows the platform it sits on… on the left is a half bowl with the project title, “Bowly Mobius”, and on the right is a quarter bowl with the statement, “cut using only a scroll saw”. Next is me with the project and the 1st Place ribbon for Open Category_Complex at the SAW Expo last weekend in Springfield, MO. Then other views of the project to show the curves from other angles. The hardest part of the project was assembly!

-- Spence in Skokie, IL

14 comments so far

View shipwright's profile


8305 posts in 3186 days

#1 posted 07-21-2012 02:30 PM

Amazing stuff there Spence.
I’ve been mulling over how to do a mobius strip in wood for a while, mostly thinking about bending.
Yours represents a fine piece of thinking, some very skilled execution and a great presentation.
It is indeed a wonderful piece of art it is.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View Kookaburra's profile


748 posts in 2612 days

#2 posted 07-21-2012 02:30 PM

I did not get a chance to see your competition, but I would give this a blue ribbon by default in any case. This is amazing. It is one of those pieces I could never imagine myself doing. Your level of precision, both in design and in execution is remarkable. The one of you holding it shows off the scale – and a big smile for the winner.

Congrats and I would LOVE to see a blog on your process here!

-- Kay - Just a girl who loves wood.

View Mathew Nedeljko's profile

Mathew Nedeljko

715 posts in 4218 days

#3 posted 07-21-2012 02:53 PM

I second the motion for a blog! Great work, would love to see how it is done, especially with a scrollsaw!

-- Aim high. Ride easy. Trust God. Neale Donald Walsch

View Stephen Fox's profile

Stephen Fox

110 posts in 3782 days

#4 posted 07-21-2012 04:19 PM

I am trying to figure how one could make plans, drawing figure dimensions make cuts put it together and finish it and frankly have no idea how to begin let alone the skills to pull it off. Congrats. Looks like there are at least ten projects now that should be in the top three including yours.

-- Stephen NYS

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3625 days

#5 posted 07-21-2012 05:44 PM

Wow, I’ve seen wood curl as it dried, but this strip is the wildest I’ve ever seen. I’m impressed. Next time put more weight on the top of the stack and it won’t curl so much. ;-)

-- Hal, Tennessee

View SawTooth1953's profile


339 posts in 3694 days

#6 posted 07-21-2012 08:09 PM

Thanks for your comments…

I described the scroll saw method I used in the posting of my Wavy Ribbon project here:

In a nutshell, I used the scroll saw to cut bowl parts… each is made of 5 concentric rings cut with the table tilted at 45 degrees. A half bowl is cut from a plywood rectangle such that the edge of the rectangle is on the diameter of the half-circle… a quarter bowl is cut from a plywood square such that the corner of the square is at the center of the circle and the 2 adjacent flat sides are radii at 12 and 3 o’clock. The half bowls and quarter bowls are then glued up and sanded… then they assembled into the mobius strip and final sanding and edge ‘dressing’ is done before finishing.

The Wavy Ribbon was simpler, as it is composed of 6 half bowls… and it is symmetric. I didn’t say it was easy, though… as you can imagine, alignments are critical and there are no flat areas to apply clamps. The “Orb” I made was easier, as it is made of just 4 half bowls that are easier to align in the glue-up.

Bowly Mobius was most difficult to assemble… it is constructed from 2 half-bowls and 10 quarter bowls and is not symmetric.

-- Spence in Skokie, IL

View Woodbridge's profile


3689 posts in 2806 days

#7 posted 07-21-2012 08:38 PM

Wow, that is a pretty amazing piece of art.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View chrisstef's profile


17914 posts in 3394 days

#8 posted 07-21-2012 09:43 PM

you just gave my headache a headache trying to figure it out. Very cool project and well deserved of a blue ribbon.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View jm8's profile


69 posts in 2700 days

#9 posted 07-22-2012 01:11 AM


-- Joe from Western Ma.... Peace to all

View peteg's profile


4435 posts in 3211 days

#10 posted 07-22-2012 01:36 AM

This is very nice work Spence, well doen & congrats

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View shopdog's profile


579 posts in 3873 days

#11 posted 07-22-2012 12:18 PM


Wow…very cool.

-- Steve--

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 2796 days

#12 posted 07-22-2012 02:05 PM

Highly advanced piece and very well deserving of top honors!


-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 3310 days

#13 posted 07-23-2012 02:26 AM

This is the reality of impossible construction that was created by designers only. You had proven that man can create much than this modern technology like the CNC. The use of conventional technique adds so much information to us. I like this ribbon construction very much. Thanks for posting and congratulations!

-- Bert

View SawTooth1953's profile


339 posts in 3694 days

#14 posted 05-11-2013 01:12 AM

I’ll be at the North Easter Ohio Scrollers (NEOS) Picnic next weekend (May 17, 18, 19) giving 2 classes on how I made the simpler projects I have posted elsewhere in Lumberjocks: Orb and the Wavy Ribbon. The scroll saw methods are the same methods as used for the Bowly Mobius… the assembly of the Orb and Wavy Ribbon are easier. This year their picnic is in Cuyahoga Falls, OH at the Quirk Center on Saturday and Sunday. I hope to meet some of you there! (The Meet and Greet Social is Friday at 6pm at the Quirk Center.)

Spencer Bloom

-- Spence in Skokie, IL

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